Cannabis is continuously growing in usage and popularity around the world. In the past, cannabis was considered taboo, but now it is gaining recognition in many states.
Some states even legalized the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana, recognizing it as a medical and recreational legal alternative to other substances.
Despite marijuana being more accepted by the general public, starting a cannabis business can be tricky, especially when considering the variations in state and federal laws.
If you want to run a cannabis company, it is highly recommended that you find a good cannabis lawyer who has a well-rounded knowledge of the risks and trends associated with the industry.
They will also help to ensure your business is not violating any regulations in your state. An expert cannabis attorney can be very beneficial for your business. This article will discuss some of the greatest benefits that a cannabis lawyer can offer.
1. Make Sure That All Application Requirements Are Met
Each state has varying laws covering the establishment of a cannabis business. Many states have issued strict rules on the number of cannabis business licenses that will be issued.
With oftentimes a narrow application window, competition for the licenses becomes intense. Moreover, applicants often have to pay high application fees in order to generate large profits for the licensing states.
For example, Connecticut charges a $25,000 application fee to applicants who seek a license for their marijuana business, and this amount is non-refundable. Considering this high expense, it is important that you hire a cannabis attorney to help ensure you can meet all regulatory and application requirements to minimize your risk and counterbalance the fees.
2. Help You Understand Federal and State Laws
While many cannabis entrepreneurs already have a basic knowledge of marijuana laws in their state and intend to adhere to them, the business is still federally illegal.
An experienced cannabis lawyer can make sure that you truly understand the federal and state laws so that you can have a better chance of achieving long-term success in this competitive industry.
It is also important to note that marijuana businesses can be classified into various sub-categories, including cultivation/growing, processing/extracting, distribution, and retail, each of which requires different standards and regulations. With an experienced lawyer, you will be able to have a deep understanding of the specific category that your cannabis business falls within.
3. Guide You Through All the Important Processes
An attorney who is familiar with both federal and state marijuana laws can help you distinguish the specific conditions that only apply to the category of your marijuana business.
In order to build and grow a legitimate cannabis company, you need to understand all the requirements for applications, licensing, as well as financing your business. However, depending on your place of residence, the processes can vary significantly.
Also, a background check likely will be required to ensure the applicant does not have a history of felonies, drug related offenses, or generally a disposition to commit crimes.
A marijuana license is a privilege license, similar to a driver’s license, and the regulating bodies require a generally clean criminal history to adhere to federal guidance.
By hiring a good cannabis lawyer, you can navigate these threshold issues and processes more efficiently, as well as legally.
4. Help Get Your Business Off on the Right Foot
A cannabis business is difficult to launch and even more difficult to maintain. On top of the usual challenges faced by all businesses such as cash flow, marketing, and customer relations, a cannabis company has to comply with complex and sometimes extreme laws and regulations.
With an experienced cannabis lawyer working with you, however, your cannabis business can be established with the right foundation to secure future success and growth.
A cannabis attorney can assist in business formation and operation, as well as compliance with local and state licensing requirements.
If you run a cannabis business without any legal guidance, you may end up violating certain laws whether you realize it or not. In the worst-case scenario, you may face criminal charges and lose your license to operate, while less severe penalties are suspensions on operation or monetary fines.
A cannabis lawyer will help defend you against these charges and also protect the reputation of your business.
5. Minimize the Cannabis Business Risk
Quite simply, getting a cannabis lawyer to work on your side is the best way to lower the potential risk your business could face. It is crucial that cannabis business owners adhere to their state’s regulations in order to minimize the chances of criminal prosecution and/or loss of the license to operate.
The federal government may prosecute businesses that are not protected under state marijuana laws, thus it is critical to hire a good cannabis lawyer to maintain the necessary state compliance.
A good attorney will make sure that your business is structured and operated in a way that is in line with applicable state laws. As a result, you can be safe from getting your business license revoked and/or avoid the hefty fines.
Moreover, a competent cannabis lawyer will be able to stay on top of case laws and changes in policy—this means that you can rest assured that your business will be well-protected and up to date.
If you’re looking for a cannabis lawyer, get in touch with Halverson Law today for a free consultation.